In this lesson you will learn facts about one of the most amazing things in nature: the spider web. Read on to find out how spiders weave their webs and what exactly they look like.
When you hear the words ‘worldwide web,’ you might be thinking about the Internet and all the interesting sites you can visit. But there is a remarkable animal weaving real webs all around our world: spiders! Spiders can live on any continent except Antarctica, and most of them make amazing creations called webs. These webs act like their homes, but they also do much more.
In this lesson you will learn all about the incredible webs that spiders can weave.
How To Make a Web
Chances are you’ve walked into a spider web, or swatted one off your arm. It probably felt sticky, but flimsy.
In fact, spiders have a special liquid in their body that they can turn into silk, the material with which they make their webs. The silk is actually incredibly strong, stronger even than steel!On the spider’s abdomen, or belly, are tubes called spinnerets. Spiders press the spinneret against an object, and liquid silk comes out. As air touches the silk, it hardens into a very strong thread. Then the spider can connect it to different surfaces, like a branch or a fence post. The spiders often use a breeze to help get their string where they want it to go. Afterward, they can move across the string and make their next strand of silk.
Some spiders will build a new web every day!
Types of Webs
When you picture a spider web, you probably picture the large, round ones that you may have seen outside. In fact, there are several different types of spider webs. Different species of spiders weave webs of different shapes, including orb webs, tangle webs, sheet webs, and funnel webs.
Orb webs are the beautiful, circular webs that many spiders weave. There are over two thousand species of spiders that weave orb webs. They start their web with a ‘Y’ shape, and then add the silk in a spiral shape that will help catch insects for them to eat.Tangle webs are different from orb webs because they are not flat. They are sometimes called cobwebs.
Their webs look messy, more like clumps of silk, and are not as sticky as orb webs.
Sheet webs look more like the sheets that you would lay on your bed–flat and horizontal. Spiders that make sheet webs will hang under the web, waiting for bugs to fly by and fall onto their trap.
Funnel webs get their name from their shape as well.
They usually have a flat top where prey gets caught, and then a tube that leads to the spider’s hiding place. Although many funnel spiders are harmless, some of the most dangerous spider bites can come from spiders that build funnel webs.
Spider webs are made of silk that comes from the spinnerets on a spider’s abdomen. They are amazing to see, and come in many shapes and sizes that range from the beautiful orb web to the messy tangle web.
But all webs help provide a home to spiders and allow them to catch the food they need to survive.